Saturday, January 29, 2022

Review: "An Unlikely Duchess" by Jessica Nelson

One of the reasons I love regency romance so much is that practically every other one includes a marriage of convenience, which is by far my favorite romance trope! So when I heard about Jessica Nelson's An Unlikely Duchess, I knew this book would be right up my alley.

A marriage of convenience is the only way to save her family…

Widow Sophia Seymour never planned to marry again—let alone become a duchess. But with her father missing and her family impoverished, an old betrothal contract promising her hand to a notorious duke is her only hope. And Edmund DeVane intends to honor the agreement—in name only. After all, Edmund needs a wife with an impeccable reputation to protect his debuting niece. But as their arrangement starts to feel much more real, can their budding love survive Edmund’s deepest secret? 

As I think back on The Unlikely Duchess, which I finished reading a couple weeks ago, what sticks with me isn't the romance but rather something that all of us who claim to follow Christ have either dealt with or will face in the future: seeing someone who profoundly and positively impacted our faith journey behave in a way that is the antithesis of everything they taught us. This is just a small portion of the novel - Sophia's struggle to reconcile a loved one's behavior with what this person taught her about Jesus - but it's what has stuck with me.

As for the rest of the book, it's a fairly standard marriage of convenience, with the couple slowly falling in love throughout the novel. I really, really loved Sophia, and I liked Edmund well enough. And while Edmund was a dummy about the "big conflict" that tore them apart, I loved their reunion. This is an enjoyable novel that is, frankly, better than what I expect of Love Inspired titles, and I look forward to reading more of Jessica Nelson's books in the future. 4 stars.

Buy the book. (Amazon ad)

Jessica Nelson believes romance happens every day, and thinks the greatest, most intense romance comes from a God who woos people to himself with passionate tenderness. When Jessica is not chasing her three beautiful, wild little boys around the living room, she can be found staring into space as she plots her next story. Or she might be daydreaming about a raspberry mocha from Starbucks. Or thinking about what kind of chocolate she should have for dinner that night. She could be thinking of any number of things, really. One thing is for certain, she is blessed with a wonderful family and a lovely life.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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